We cut down anywhere between 7-10 billion trees a year and estimates show that there are close to 400 billion trees that exist on this earth and if you do the math then you’ll know that it not such a long time before we cut down all trees, not more than two life times at best to be precise. We cut down trees for various purposes. From building homes to the paper we take notes on we need trees and a lot of us don’t mind the mass deforestation that occurs every year. Apart from the problem of trees just running out, there are tons of other problems that come with the mass cutting down of trees including soil erosion, no fresh air to breathe in, water retention in soil decreasing and so on.
Afforestation which is planting more trees or sowing seeds in a barren land to create forests is a great way to prevent the problems we discussed above. Afforestation isn’t to be confused with reforestation that involves increasing the existing number of trees in preexisting forests, afforestation involves creating completely new forests. Let us look at the benefits of afforestation and why it is important to us.
Supply of timber, fodder and fruit:
Afforestation makes sure that timber supply doesn’t stop. Timber is such a vital resource to humans that is used to make the furniture we use every day and construct the houses we live in. The more you plant now the more you reap in a few decades. Trees also supply a lot of other things such as fruits and other valuable resources that humans need, afforestation makes sure that we don’t run out of these resources and makes the use of these resources sustainable for the future.
Wildlife need forests to dwell in and without these forests most wildlife cannot survive and will slowly go extinct. In order to maintain the ecological balance one needs to plant more trees and create forests or at least keep the remaining forests alive. Afforestation makes sure that there are enough forests for wildlife to thrive in.
Prevents soil erosion:
Afforestation prevents soil erosion as the tree’s roots hold the soil together tightly and makes sure that soil stays in its place. Soil erosion is a major cause of concern as humans need quality soil to grow the crops we need and to make sure that there is enough soil to absorb and retain rain water as well as filter rain water before it reaches the ground. Soil that isn’t held tightly also can cause landslides in hilly and mountain regions.
Forests are beautiful places and every year millions of people visit forests to admire their myriad beauty. Afforestation creates new forests and through that brings in economic benefit. More trees there are, more beautiful the forests become and more people come to visit these forests. This brings in considerable tourism revenue to countries.
Stabilizes the Climate:
Planting more trees in semiarid regions is known to bring in more rain and this is also true for most other regions as well. Placed with more tress have more frequent rains. Trees also reduce the greenhouse effect and prevents warmer temperatures.
Prevents Global warming:
More trees we plant the more we reduce the greenhouse effect and this prevents one of the world’s leading problems, global warming. Global warming is the melting of the polar ice caps which leads to an increase in the sea level. Afforestation prevents such a thing from happening.
Brings more rain and water retention:
Planting more trees brings more rain and with a lot of sources of fresh water now getting polluted, rain is one of the very few ways that humans still get fresh water. Also the trees make sure that water is better held in the soil and this increases the underground water table that is accessible by wells. By taking part in afforestation one bring in more rains and also make sure that the rain water that falls down doesn’t go to waste.
Better quality air:
Trees purify the CO2 in the air and gives us the oxygen we breathe. Humans breathe out CO2 but that is not the only source of CO2 in the atmosphere as burning a number of things also produces CO2 and we burn a ton of fossil fuels every day like petrol or diesel to run our automobiles and other ones like coal to produce power that runs our lights and other electrical appliances both of which release considerable amounts of CO2. With more CO2 released into the atmosphere every day we need more trees to make sure that we have clean air to breathe.